My favourite reads of the year / 2022 wrap-up

I read quite some books last year and even though I’m late I still wanted to share some beautiful books with you. Here are my 8 favourite reads of the year 2022.

Collage of all the covers of the books mentioned in this post.

The Blood Trials
(The Blood Gift Duology #1)
by N.E. Davenport

I knew I would like this book, but I actually loved it. I haven’t read a lot of science fiction in 2022, which is something I’d like to change this year. I am so looking forward to the second book in this series because the mix of world-building, thrilling plotlines, and fun characters was just amazing.

Cover of The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport.

Synopsis of The Blood Trials

It’s all about blood.

The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.

The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.

For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.

Who trained her to keep that a secret.

But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.

Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials—a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that—if found out—would subject her to execution…or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them.

Mareen has been at peace for a long time…

Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.

Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself—and one’s blood—is more important than anything.


The House in the Cerulean Sea
by T.J. Klune

This book is straight up so cozy and cute, I fell in love the second I picked it up. I had heard great things about this novel, but it took me some time to actually start it since I am a huge mood reader. So cute.

Cover of The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune.

Synopsis of The House in the Cerulean Sea

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Absolutely loved this one. The two POVs were very interesting to follow and I loved the fact that it was written in a verse. Definitely recommend reading this book.

Cover of Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Synopsis of Clap When You Land

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance–and Papi’s secrets–the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.


Kingdom of the Cursed
(Kingdom of the Wicked #2)

by Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco doesn’t disappoint when it comes to this series. I really enjoyed this second instalment even though this book is far from perfect. These characters hold a special place in my heart.

Cover of Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco.

Synopsis of Kingdom of the Cursed

Possible spoilers ahead.

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice. She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria . . . even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world . . . or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves . . .


All Systems Red
(The Murderbot Diaries #1)
by Martha Wells

This was a fun short story of only 144 pages. I did get confused sometimes but overall I enjoyed this little book.

Cover of All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

Synopsis of All Systems Red

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


I’m Glad My Mom Died
by Jennette McCurdy

This was a complete surprise. I didn’t plan on reading this book but when it came out I found myself being drawn to it. I’m Glad My Mom Died ended up being one of my favourite reads of the year and I would definitely recommend this to anyone. I’m not someone who reads non-fiction often, but this book is so good.

Cover of I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy.

Synopsis of I’m Glad My Mom Died

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

Read my review of I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy here.


Gods & Monsters
(Serpent & Dove #3)
by Shelby Mahurin

After being let down by Blood & Honey, I’m glad this series made a huge comeback. The last book in the Serpent & Dove series was so much better than the previous book and that just makes me happy. If you weren’t fan of the second book in this series, I would suggest reading Gods & Monsters and having closure.

Cover of Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin.

Synopsis of Gods & Monsters

Possible spoilers ahead.

Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one.

After a heartbreaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou.

But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.


Langste. Kerst. OOIT.
by Lisette Jonkman

And last but not least, this Dutch Christmas book. I love Christmas and the festive period in December and this book was just the cherry on top!

Cover by Langste. Kerst. OOIT. by Lisette Jonkman.

Synopsis of Langste. Kerst. OOIT.

Noëlle is gek op kerst. Ieder jaar organiseert ze op eerste kerstdag een uitgebreid diner voor een select groepje vrienden en familie, dat ze tot in de puntjes plant. Als ze ‘s avonds in bed ligt, denkt ze ieder jaar: ‘Was het maar elke dag kerst.’

Maar dit jaar loopt alles in de soep. Haar dure glazen sneuvelen, er komt meer dan één ongenode gast opdagen en tot overmaat van ramp breken de vliezen van haar zus tijdens het hoofdgerecht. Misschien is het dus toch wel fijn dat het niet écht elke dag kerst is.

En dan wordt Noëlle de volgende dag wakker… Op eerste kerstdag.


What were your favourite reads of the year? Let me know in the comments!

1 thought on “My favourite reads of the year / 2022 wrap-up

  1. I just love Murderbot!! We are getting a cover reveal for the next book tomorrow

    Like

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